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Discover it Miles Program Review: Easy to Earn, Easy to Redeem

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Discover it® Miles rewards: The basics

The Discover it® Miles earns 1.5 miles for every dollar spent. Miles are worth 1 cent apiece, giving the card a rewards rate of 1.5%. Miles can be redeemed for cash back or for credit on your statement against a variety of travel purchases.

Cards that earn these rewards

Only the Discover it® Miles earns this type of rewards.

How to earn more miles with the Discover it® Miles

The Discover it® Miles offers few avenues for earning extra miles, beyond what you get on purchases. There are no bonus categories in which users can collect extra rewards, However, the card provides a potentially rich bonus for new cardholders. As discover describes it: “UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover will automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.” There’s no limit to the number of miles you can earn with this promotion, which raises the effective rewards rate in your first year to 3%.

Overall, the best way to score more rewards is simply to use the card for every purchase you can.

How to redeem miles with the Discover it® Miles

You have two opportunities for redeeming your rewards with the Discover it® Miles:

  • Cash back via a deposit into your linked bank account
  • A statement credit against a travel purchase made in the past 180 days

Eligible travel purchases include the usual airfare and hotel stays, but also taxis, commuter trains, car rentals, travel sites and more.

Miles can be redeemed in any amount. Many cards require you to have a certain number of points or miles before you’re able to cash them in, but the Discover it® Miles lets you redeem however it suits you.

And regardless of how you choose to redeem, the value of your miles remains the same: 1 cent apiece. This is rare among travel credit cards, which typically penalize you for non-travel redemptions by giving you a lower value per point or mile. Consequently, there’s no “bad” way to redeem your miles with the Discover it® Miles.

The fine print

The rewards program offered by the Discover it® Miles is pretty straightforward. There’s no limit to the miles you can earn, and miles never expire. Also, Discover will credit your linked bank account with your rewards if you close your account or it becomes inactive. Simplicity carries through to the card’s fine print.

More details about the Discover it® Miles

The Discover it® Miles stands out from most of its competitors in the travel credit card market by charging a $0 annual fee. Other cards offering similarly flexible rewards tend to charge annual fees.

In addition to the rewards and bonus already described, important features include:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Free FICO score access

The Discover it® Miles is an inexpensive choice for globetrotters looking to easily rack up big travel rewards on every purchase. Its only major drawback is that Discover cards aren’t widely accepted in some parts of the world, so be sure to do some research or bring along a backup card when taking it on an international trip.


The calculated value of these points is based on an estimated redemption rate, not a credit card rewards earn rate. Therefore, you may notice that these numbers don’t match the rewards rates on our credit card finder tool. Read on for how we estimated these points values.

The terms and conditions for the Discover it® Miles card explicitly state that each mile is worth $0.01, regardless of redemption method.

This means that a taxi ride that cost $25 would require 2,500 miles to pay for in full with rewards. Similarly, a $25 direct deposit into your bank account would require 2,500 miles.

This article was last updated July 11, 2016.